Monthly Archives: July 2012

art, it’s a snap : mark limbrick & emily richardson

Monday 9 July 2012

more art snaps from Snape…

limn is one of two works by Mark Limbrick included in the recent ‘Snap’ art exhibition at the Aldeburgh Arts and Music Festival.

mark limbrick, installation, art, snape maltings, suffolk

Mark Limbrick, limn, 2012 (steel, wood, electronics, mixed media)

limn comprises a large circular chamber in which a small ‘lamp’ noisily gyrates around the perimeter of what appears to be the suggestion of a cliff or coastline (hence the limn of the title), speeding up and then slowing down… it recalled the movement of ships or blinking lighthouses, of night-time maneouvres or coded communications, or perhaps the covert operations of the cold war era, as Orford Ness is nearby (see below)… it was an interesting work to watch (and listen to), but i could find no further information on this piece…

mark limbrick, installation, art, snape maltings, suffolk

another work by Mark Limbrick is a ‘sound installation’, One, comprising two large trumpet or conch-like white speakers (referencing both the old-fashioned phonograph and forms of the sea). they are spaced some metres apart on the lawn outside the main concert hall (facing each other), conjoined by a telegraph wire, the vibration of which is apparently simultaneously broadcast by the two speakers – atmospheric, disembodied and eerie, as one might expect – listening to the wind is like listening to the sea – we are transported somewhere else.

Mark Limbrick harnesses a ‘resonant’ element of nature (the wind) and artfully broadcasts it on what could be classed as a complex and large musical instrument. one issue with ‘sound’ works like this is that, in the mechanical ‘construction’ of the idea, it feels unavoidably ‘contrived’, and perhaps the ensuing experience is less poetic than if one had come across a similar phenomena naturally in the environment (see quote below).

the naughty cynic whispered that some of it may be pre-recorded (but i didn’t think it was). the wire also suggested an idea that that any translation of these ‘sounds’ into meaningful ‘communication’ is impossible – are the two speakers set apart in such a way to imply there is no communication between them?  furthermore, i wasn’t sure if anyone was allowed to reach over the white cordon and pluck the wire to see what other sounds it could make? it’s an engineered telephonic ‘soundscape’ which didn’t photograph very well, but i have since found a good clip on youtube:

One by Mark Limbrick

In support of this work, Limbrick quotes Thoreau:

As I went under the new telegraph wire, I heard it vibrating like a high harp overhead. It was as the sound of a far-off glorious life, a supernatural life, which came down to us , and vibrated the lattice work of this life of ours.
(Thoreau, 1851)

emily richardson, installation, art, snape maltings, suffolk

Emily Richardson, over the horizon, 2012 (HD video, 20 minutes duration)

emily richardson, installation, art, snape maltings, suffolk

Emily Richardson’s ‘over the horizon’ is a video installation work (in collaboration with Chris Watson) concerned with the history and experience of Orford Ness (or just the Ness), which was once a military radar & surveillance station (then owned by the MOD). it is now a nature reserve (managed by The National Trust) but many of the buildings remain, in various states of decline and decay, nestled along the shingle banks, slowly encrusted with rust or coated in algae, as the relics of the cold war become nesting sites for the shoreline’s birds. it’s a film-maker’s dream, in sound and vision. the video is everything you would expect it to be from such a seemingly desolate location: poignant, muted, layered, melancholic, eerie, bleak, a little bit dystopian – a place that time forgot, lost in the zone, the haunting remains of secret operations or military experiments merging with nature as it goes about its daily business of survival.

over the horizon has some clear similarities with the works of Mark Limbrick, Maggi Hambling and May Cornet in ‘Snap’. in fact, the more memorable works in ‘Snap’ are phenomenological in their intent, exploring sensory responses to the experiences of these locations…

art, it's a snap : maggi hambling & may cornet

Thursday 5 July 2012

more snaps from the Snap 2012 exhibition (Art at Aldeburgh Festival) at Snape Maltings…

in one of the disused malt buildings, an interesting ‘conflation’ of traditional painting and sound installation by the suffolk-based artist Maggi Hambling…

maggi hambling, painting installation, you are the sea, snape maltings, suffolk

you are the sea, maggi hambling 2012

this building is ‘presented’ in a state of elegant abandonment, not unlike a dystopian film set, littered at the boundary with architectural detritus but the floor is scrubbed clean. the eerie sounds of a water sluice (which Maggi Hambling encountered daily while sketching the north sea at nearby Thorpeness beach) meld into the sounds of a wailing voice or a poetical reading of sorts (uncredited) from the circular vented structure (a redundant relic from the building’s former use) – the ghosts of the sea are summarily summoned…

maggi hambling, painting installation, snape maltings, suffolk

i sat on the vent to listen through (as instructed). the accompanying ‘suspended’ canvas painting (Wall of Water VIII, from a series on the North sea) became less compelling as the draw of dark, semi-derelict architectural spaces encourages the eyes to wander & explore – although, bravo to this bold departure from the context of a white cube gallery.

many of the redundant outbuildings here (especially those without windows or roofs) are artfully preserved in a state of semi-dereliction with tidy groupings of architectural & industrial detritus – rusting containers, stacks of wood, bricks and tiles, drainage pipes, scrap metal, engine parts, even the carcasses of old cars – and such arrangements became even more appealing to the senses because on this day it was raining hard (in that dystopian, the-world-is-falling-apart-and-i-think-i-like-it way). no one else was about and this environment needed no other artistic intervention other than eyes to see it (or souls to feel it)…

snape maltings, dereliction detritus, suffolk

snape maltings, buildings, weeds, nature, suffolk

and let us not forget the invasive nature of the flora which some might call ‘weeds’, that serve to remind us of the unassuming poetry in encroaching wildness. nature is reclaiming this building…

it’s an idea purposefully recrafted as a secret ‘Walled Garden’ by the artist May Cornet later on in the Snap tour. stacked piles of bricks have been sown with a medley of wild flowers and grasses, with the white hexagonal structures perhaps mystically channelling these elements of nature. alas, the white gate to this manufactured haven for wildlife was firmly locked, so one was left peering through the prison-like bars from a controlled distance, as if we can never truly be free with nature, wherever we seek it. in truth, this merging of the man-made and nature in the environment can be witnessed anywhere: in urban derelict spaces, the hinterland sprawl, waste sites, railway sidings, rural backyards…

may cornet, walled garden installation, snape maltings, suffolk

the walled garden, May Cornet 2012

art, it's a snap : gavin turk

Monday 2 July 2012

the first of some photographic snaps taken on a recent visit to see the Snap 2012 exhibition (Art at Aldeburgh Festival) at Snape Maltings… first up, situated close to the car park – L’age d’Or (green) by Gavin Turk

gavin turk, door sculpture, snape maltings

it has the inside/outside dimension, audience interaction and the inevitable question & answer flow of ideas about ‘time & place’ with an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ charm. children and adults like this.

gavin turk, door sculpture, snape maltings, suffolk

why did i think this would be painted bronze? it’s painted wood…

gavin turk, door sculpture, snape maltings, suffolk

some peeling paint…

gavin turk, door sculpture, snape maltings, suffolk

another view of the large door…

the white panel (with viewing window) is by Matthew Darbyshire & Scott King (it’s unclear which part is Matthew’s contribution to the work, assigning the view through the windows?) and it is one of a series of four faux or imagined texts attributed to notable writers or artists, ‘Ways of Sitting’ (a humorous play on ‘Ways of Seeing’):

One current trend in Conceptual art is quite beyond satire. This strand of art is built from disparate and insignificant historical minutiae, that is re-presented as ‘knowledge’. These artists scour Wikipedia in search of ‘rare’ but ‘cool’ information; once they’ve discovered some suitably (and understandably) obscure facts, they re-present the facts in an art gallery. Of course they can’t just re-present these facts in ‘raw form’ – it’s essential that the facts become ‘art commodity’ (video, sculpture, etc). The result is a complex puzzle of abstruse reference points. A hundred reference points, but no actual point… A kind of exploded jigsaw puzzle for the casual Barthes reader perhaps? A parlour game for the curator, critic and collector. I’m unsure if they yet call it ‘Wiki-Art’.

Victor Burgin, Art and Politics : A Reappraisal 30 July 2010

(art, it’s a snap; to be continued…)